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Publication numberUS20030069066 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/245,623
Publication dateApr 10, 2003
Filing dateSep 16, 2002
Priority dateOct 17, 2000
Also published asWO2004054670A2, WO2004054670A3
Publication number10245623, 245623, US 2003/0069066 A1, US 2003/069066 A1, US 20030069066 A1, US 20030069066A1, US 2003069066 A1, US 2003069066A1, US-A1-20030069066, US-A1-2003069066, US2003/0069066A1, US2003/069066A1, US20030069066 A1, US20030069066A1, US2003069066 A1, US2003069066A1
InventorsJerald Seelig, Lawrence Henshaw
Original AssigneeAtlantic City Coin & Slot Service Company, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming bonus device and method of use
US 20030069066 A1
Abstract
A gaming device configured to allow a player to place a wager and play a game. The gaming device has a plurality of three-dimensional symbols having height, width, and depth. Each three-dimensional symbol is preferably moveably attached to the gaming device, wherein each three-dimensional symbol may be selectively positioned to allow a player to see the three-dimensional symbol. Each three-dimensional symbol is configured to communicate at least a portion of an outcome of the game to a player.
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Claims(48)
What is claimed is:
1. A gaming device, comprising:
(A) at least one display object, the display object comprising:
(a) at least one rotational axis; and
(b) a plurality of three-dimensional symbols, three-dimensional symbols having height, width, and depth and being positioned around the rotational axis, wherein each of the three-dimensional symbols may be positioned to allow a player to view the three-dimensional symbols by rotating the display object around the rotational axis, the three-dimensional symbols being configured to communicate at least a portion of an outcome of a game;
(B) at least one rotational mechanism attached to the display object, the rotational mechanism being configured to rotate the display object around the rotational axis; and
(C) at least one controller in communication with the rotational mechanism, the controller being configured to cause the rotational mechanism to rotate the object around the rotational axis, wherein a selected three-dimensional symbol may be positioned to allow a player to view the selected three-dimensional symbol.
2. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the rotational axis is substantially vertically positioned.
3. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the rotational axis is substantially horizontally positioned.
4. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the three-dimensional symbols comprise at least one animal.
5. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the three-dimensional symbols comprise at least one human.
6. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the gaming device comprises a plurality of display objects, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol on each display object has a common theme.
7. The gaming device of claim 6, wherein a prize winning outcome is communicated to the player when each display object displays a three-dimensional symbol with a common theme.
8. A gaming device, the gaming device being configured to allow a player to place a wager and play a game, the gaming device comprising:
(A) a plurality of three-dimensional symbols, the three-dimensional symbols having height, width, and depth, each symbol being configured to communicate at least a portion of an outcome of the game;
(B) a positioning device attached to the plurality of three-dimensional symbols, the positioning device being configured to position the plurality of three-dimensional symbols, wherein at least one three dimensional symbol may be displayed to the player.
9. The gaming device of claim 8, wherein a plurality of three-dimensional symbols may be rotated around an axis, wherein the positioning device is configured to rotate the plurality of three-dimensional symbols around the axis of rotation.
10. The gaming device of claim 8, wherein the axis is substantially vertically positioned.
11. The gaming device of claim 8, wherein the axis is substantially horizontally positioned.
12. The gaming device of claim 8, wherein the three-dimensional symbols comprise at least one animal.
13. The gaming device of claim 8, wherein the three-dimensional symbols comprise at least one human.
14. The gaming device of claim 8, wherein the gaming device comprises a plurality of display objects, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol on each display object has a common theme.
15. A gaming device, the gaming device being configured to allow a player to place a wager and play a game, the gaming device comprising a plurality of three-dimensional symbols, having height, width, and depth, each three dimensional symbol being moveably attached to the gaming device, wherein each three-dimensional symbol may be selectively positioned to allow a player to see the three-dimensional symbol, each three-dimensional symbol being configured to communicate at least a portion of an outcome of the game, wherein the outcome of the game can be communicated to the player by selecting and displaying at least one three-dimensional symbol.
16. The gaming device of claim 15, further comprising a positioning device attached to at least one three-dimensional symbol, the positioning device being configured to change an orientation of the three-dimensional symbol.
17. The gaming device of claim 16, wherein the positioning device comprises a rotational device, the rotational device being configured to rotate at least one three-dimensional symbol around an axis, wherein the orientation of the three-dimensional symbol is changed by the rotation.
18. The gaming device of claim 17, wherein the axis is substantially vertically positioned.
19. The gaming device of claim 17, wherein the axis is substantially horizontally positioned.
20. The gaming device of claim 15, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol represents an animal.
21. The gaming device of claim 15, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol represents a human.
22. The gaming device of claim 15, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol has a common theme.
23. The gaming device of claim 15, wherein a prize winning outcome is communicated to the player when at least one three-dimensional symbol with a common theme is displayed.
24. A gaming apparatus, comprising:
(A) a gaming device, the gaming device being configured to allow a player to place a wager and play a game;
(B) a bonus display in communication with the gaming device, the bonus display being configured to present at least a portion of an outcome of a bonus game, the bonus display comprising:
(a) at least one display object attached to the bonus display, the display object comprising:
(i) a plurality of three-dimensional symbols, each three-dimensional symbol being located on a different portion of the display object, wherein the display object presents different three-dimensional symbols to the player depending upon an angular orientation of the display object.
25. The gaming apparatus of claim 24, wherein the display object is rotatably attached to the bonus display, wherein the orientation of the display object may be changed by rotating the display object around a rotational axis.
26. The gaming device of claim 25, wherein the rotational axis is substantially vertically positioned.
27. The gaming device of claim 25, wherein the rotational axis is substantially horizontally positioned.
28. The gaming device of claim 24, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol comprises at least one animal.
29. The gaming device of claim 24, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol comprises at least one human.
30. The gaming device of claim 24, wherein the gaming device comprises a plurality of display objects, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol on each display object has a common theme.
31. The gaming device of claim 24, wherein a prize winning outcome is communicated to the player when each display object displays a three-dimensional symbol with a common theme.
32. A method of playing a game, comprising:
(A) providing a plurality of three-dimensional symbols, each three-dimensional symbol having height, width, and depths and being configured to communicate at least a portion of an outcome of a game;
(B) randomly determining the outcome of a game;
(C) selecting at least one of the three-dimensional symbols to communicate the outcome of the game; and
(D) positioning the selected three-dimensional symbol so that a player may see the three-dimensional symbol.
33. The method of claim 32, wherein the plurality of three-dimensional symbols are attached together.
34. The method of claim 32, further comprising rotating at least one three-dimensional symbol around a rotational axis.
35. The method of claim 34, wherein the rotational axis is substantially vertically positioned.
36. The method of claim 34, wherein the rotational axis is substantially horizontally positioned.
37. The method of claim 32, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol comprises at least one animal.
38. The method of claim 32, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol comprises at least one human.
39. The method of claim 32, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol has a common theme.
40. The method of claim 32, wherein a prize winning outcome is communicated to the player when at least one three-dimensional symbol with a common theme is displayed.
41. A gaming device, comprising:
(A) means for randomly determining the outcome of a game;
(B) a plurality of three-dimensional symbol means for communicating the outcome of a game using at least one three-dimensional symbol;
(C) means for determining a display, the display communicating the outcome of the game and comprising at least one of the plurality of three dimensional symbol means;
(D) positioning means for selectively positioning the plurality of three-dimensional symbol means; and
(E) controller means for causing the positioning means to position the plurality of three three-dimensional symbol means so that the player may see the display.
42. The gaming device of claim 41, further comprising a rotating means for rotating at least one three-dimensional symbol means around a rotational axis.
43. The gaming device of claim 42, wherein the rotational axis is substantially vertically positioned.
44. The gaming device of claim 42, wherein the rotational axis is substantially horizontally positioned.
45. The gaming device of claim 41, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol means comprises at least one animal.
46. The gaming device of claim 41, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol means comprises at least one human.
47. The gaming device of claim 41, wherein at least one three-dimensional symbol means has a common theme.
48. The gaming device of claim 47, wherein a prize winning outcome is communicated to the player when a three-dimensional symbol means with a common theme is displayed.
Description
CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part application of nonprovisional application Ser. No. 09/967,055 filed Sep. 28, 2001. Application Ser. No. 09/967,055 claims priority to U.S. provisional patent application serial No. 60/241,384, filed Oct. 17, 2000 and entitled, “Gaming Bonus Device and Method of Use,” the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to gaming devices and method of using the same. More particularly, the present invention relates to gaming devices having at least one three-dimensional symbol.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Various bonus systems for use with gaming devices are known in the field of gaming. U.S. Pat. No. 6,059,289, issued to Vancara, discloses a method for playing a bonus game in a secondary slot machine adjacent to a primary slot machine. The primary slot machine issues a bonus-qualifying signal to the secondary slot machine to start play of a bonus game when a bonus-qualifying event occurs. After the random spin on the secondary slot machine, the values or value play symbols are accumulated into an accumulated winning value until the end of the bonus game occurs. U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,823,874 and 5,848,932, issued to Adams disclose slot casino games incorporating a single play bonus feature where a rotating wheel is activated by the player depressing a bonus spin button when certain indicia appear on the reels of a slot game. U.S. Pat. No. 5,393,057, issued to Marnell II, discloses an electronic gaming apparatus and method therefore wherein each play in the bonus is the result of successive underlying game play.

[0004] Players of gaming apparatus typically find it enjoyable to have a variety of different forms of gaming apparatus available. Gaming machines that are more interesting generate more player excitement and in turn are played longer resulting in more revenue for the game operator. In addition, games that are more visually appealing generate more player interest. Generally, bonus prizes are offered in such games in order to increase the excitement and enjoyment experienced by players. This attracts more players to the game and encourages players to play longer. When gaming devices attract more players and the players play longer, they tend to be more commercially successful relative to other gaming devices.

[0005] Display devices are utilized on gaming devices in order to attract players. Once players are attracted to the gaming device, they tend to play longer because the display device enhances the stimulation and excitement experienced by players. It is, therefore, desirable for gaming devices to incorporate highly visible display devices.

[0006] Display devices tend to be more successful if they utilize physical objects rather than simulations. Although video devices and electronic signs can be used for display devices, players are more attracted to display devices that utilize physical objects. Physical objects can be even more effective display devices if they are moveable and they are used in combination with lights and sounds.

[0007] Unfortunately, the similarity of gaming machines poses a problem for gaming machine manufacturers in differentiating their machines from competitors. Adding a bonus game to a base game can add differentiation to the game and add more variety to the game.

[0008] A current unmet need exists for a bonus gaming device that provides game players with a more exciting and desirable gaming experience and that is visually appealing.

[0009] An unmet need exists for a bonus gaming device that is enjoyable to play and results in longer play times and revenues for the gaming operator.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0010] The present invention comprises a gaming device being configured to allow a player to place a wager and play a game. The gaming device has a plurality of three-dimensional symbols having height, width, and depth. Each three-dimensional symbol is preferably moveably attached to the gaming device, wherein each three-dimensional symbol may be selectively positioned to allow a player to see the threw dimensional symbol. Each three-dimensional symbol is preferably configured to communicate at least a portion of an outcome of the game to a player by selecting and displaying at least one three-dimensional symbol.

[0011] The above description sets forth, rather broadly, the more important features of the present invention so that the detailed description of the preferred embodiment that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described below and will form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one preferred embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012]FIG. 1 is substantially a front view of a preferred embodiment of a gaming device of the present invention.

[0013]FIG. 2 is substantially an exploded view of the gaming device of FIG. 1.

[0014]FIG. 3 is substantially another preferred embodiment of the gaming device.

[0015]FIG. 4 is substantially another preferred embodiment of the gaming device.

[0016]FIG. 5 is substantially a schematic flow diagram of a bonus gaming method.

[0017]FIG. 6 is substantially a detailed flowchart of the gaming method.

[0018]FIG. 7 is substantially a flowchart of an alternative embodiment of a gaming method.

[0019]FIG. 8 is substantially a flowchart of another embodiment of a gaming method.

[0020]FIG. 9 is substantially a flowchart of another embodiment of a gaming method.

[0021]FIG. 10 is substantially a flowchart of another embodiment of a gaming method.

[0022]FIG. 11 is substantially a front view of another embodiment of a bonus gaming device.

[0023]FIG. 12 is substantially a perspective view of a display object of the gaming device of FIG. 11.

[0024]FIG. 13 is substantially a front view of an embodiment of a rotational mechanism.

[0025]FIG. 14 is substantially a schematic flow diagram of an alternative embodiment of a gaming method.

[0026]FIG. 15 is substantially a detailed flowchart of another alternative embodiment of a gaming method.

[0027]FIG. 16 is substantially a flowchart of yet another alternative embodiment of a gaming method.

[0028]FIG. 17 is substantially a flowchart of another embodiment of a gaming method.

[0029]FIG. 18 is substantially a flowchart of another embodiment of a gaming method.

[0030]FIG. 19 is substantially a flowchart of another embodiment of a gaming method

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0031] In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

[0032]FIG. 1 is a preferred embodiment of a gaming apparatus 10. It has a gaming device 14 shown as an electronic slot machine. Gaming device 14 is configured to allow a player to place a wager and play a game. The outcome of the game may be displayed in a game outcome display 16, such as a video screen or mechanical spinning reels. Gaming device 14 may also be configured to generate a bonus qualifying event. The bonus event can be almost any predetermined event and can be internal or external to the game.

[0033] In the preferred embodiment, a display device 12 is mounted on top of gaming device 14. Display device 12 may allow a player to play a bonus game in response to the bonus-qualifying event. In other embodiments, display device 12 may also be configured to allow a player to play a primary game. Display device 12 may further be a stand-alone device that allows a player to play a game. In the preferred embodiment, display device 12 comprises three binary display objects. Each binary display object is configured to display one of two different symbols or a binary outcome. The binary display object is preferably quarters 18 to give a heads or tails outcome. Of course, other coins may be used, such as nickel, dime, and penny. Other binary outcomes are also possible to use, such as Xs or Os and colors or shapes. Display device 12 can select the winning outcome. Alternatively, the player may be allowed to select the winning outcome. Display device 12 may entitle a player to a predefined payout when the player wins depending upon the number of similar heads or tails to the winning outcome.

[0034] In the preferred embodiment, three coins 18, each having a head and a tail face, are mounted on top of and associated with the gaming device 14. Coins 18 are selectively spun. The coins 18 are mounted above poles 17 and could be spun by an attached electric motor or solenoid. When the bonus-qualifying event occurs on the slot machine reel 16, the bonus game is activated. A patron then presses either a “heads” button 20A or a “tails” button 20B, located on the display device 12 in order to select the winning outcome. Thereafter, three coins 18 in display device 12 will begin to spin. Depending upon the number of heads vs. tails and the patron's selection, the patron may be entitled to a base award. The award is displayed on win meter 19. For example, if the patron selects heads and two of the three coins display heads, the patron will be entitled to a bonus award of 25 coins as shown in FIG. 2 of the attached drawings. The bonus award may be shown on a meter 52. While, three coins 18 are shown, the game could also be played with 1, 2 or more than three coins 18. For example, if the game were played with one coin, the player would win a pro defined bonus if his selection of heads or tails matched the symbol displayed by coin 18.

[0035] The outcomes may be combinations of heads or tails, odds or evens, “Xs” or “Os,” different colors or geometric shapes, entitling a player to a predefined payout when the player wins depending upon the number of similar binary outcomes elected and displayed. Although the following discussion focuses on coins with head and tail outcomes, any binary outcome either/or symbols, colors, or shapes could be used instead, depending upon the theme desired.

[0036] If the game player does not press button 20A or 20B, coins 18 may automatically spin after a period of time, and the display device 12 may select a winning outcome. The bonus game may also include a delay-activated switch 25, which allows a player the opportunity to activate the display device 12 before it is automatically activated.

[0037] An optional feature of the gaming bonus device includes a multiplier random generator (not shown) associated with the display device 12. The multiplier random generator may automatically select a multiplier for the payout issued to a player when the player wins. Once coins 18 stop spinning and the patron's base award is displayed, a random number generator may automatically select the multiplier by which the base bonus will be multiplied to determine the total award for the patron. For instance, if the patron receives two (2) heads, this would entitle the player to a base award of 25 coins. If the 4×multiplier indicator 21 lights up as shown in FIG. 1, the game player is awarded a total prize of 100 coins, which would be displayed on the win meter embodiment shown in FIG. 3. Several multiplier indicator lights 21 may be mounted around display 15 of gaming apparatus 10 and may light up to show the multiplier amount that is generated by the multiplier random number generator. The multiplier can be indicated on a multiplier meter 53 and the total prize won on total prize meter 54. If the selected multiplier is zero, a consolation prize may be awarded. Playing for the multiplier may also be repeated a number of times.

[0038]FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of the invention in display device 30. FIG. 2 is similar to FIG. 1, except the multiplier lights 21 are replaced by extra coin indicator lights 23. Instead of awarding a multiplier, a predetermined amount of extra coins are awarded to the game player. Indicator lights 23 light up to show the winning amount of extra coins. Display device 30 may include a changing sign display 22 having a similar theme, such as a large changing face Quarter, to entertain the player during the game.

[0039] Turning now to FIG. 3, another embodiment of the display device is shown. Display 40 is similar to FIG. 2, except that fewer payout possibilities 41 are shown and the payout possibilities are shown inside a square shape instead of a circle shape. Decorative quarters 42 are also added around the periphery of the game to provide a more attractive display.

[0040] Turning now to FIG. 4, another embodiment of the display device is shown. Display device 50 is similar to FIG. 2, except the multiplier payout possibilities are not shown. In display device 50, coins 18 are located below the changing sign display 22.

[0041] The gaming bonus device may employ either mechanical or electrical secondary binary outcome random number generators, or a combination thereof, which generate three bi-modal displays. While the display device embodiments have been shown using physical coins that are spun. The display device could also be implemented using a video screen.

[0042] A controller would drive the video screen to selectively show, spin, and stop the three spinning coins. Other binary symbols could also be displayed on the video screen such as colors or Xs and Os.

[0043] Referring now to FIG. 11, the present invention also comprises display device 220. In the preferred embodiment, display device 220 has indicator lights 221 similar to multiplier indicator lights 21 and extra coin indicator lights 23 above. Display device 220 also has payout table 225 to indicate to players the prizes display device 220 offers.

[0044] Display device 220 comprises a display device controller 227 that is adapted to control the operation of the bonus game. Controllers, like display device controller 227, may be one or more computers or processor boards. For example, in the presently implemented embodiment, controller comprises display device controller 227 and stepper motor controller (not shown), which may be manufactured by Progressive Solutions in Carmichael, Calif., a core module by Z-World in Davis, Calif., and a sound board by Cleverdevices in Syosset, N.Y. Other, equally suitable devices may be purchased from other manufacturers. It is recognized that controller may be a single processor or processor board. Furthermore, it is also recognized that a gaming device controller 229 and display device controller 227 may be combined in a single processor or processor board.

[0045] Display device controller 227 may be adapted to detect when a bonus-activating event occurs in game device 14. This may be accomplished by gaming device controller 229 transmitting a signal to bonus game controller that a bonus event has occurred. For example, gaming device controller 229 may determine the outcome of each game, and when a bonus-activating outcome occurs, it transmits a signal to display device controller 227. Alternatively, display device controller 227 may periodically interrogate gaming device controller 229. In another embodiment, one or more sensors (not shown) may be provided for determining if a bonus-activating event has occurred. For example, sensors may sense the positions of reels. When reels are in a bonus activating position, bonus game controller would sense this position and begin a bonus sequence described below. Sensors may also be provided external to gaming device 14 (not shown in FIG. 11) to detect external bonus-activating events.

[0046] Gaming device controller 229 may also transmit a variety of information to display device controller 227. For example, gaming device controller 229 may signal when coins or currency have been inserted, when a game starts, when an error has occurred, and when a sensor detects tampering.

[0047] Display device 220 further has symbol display 222 for allowing a player to view at least a portion of a game outcome. Symbol display 222 has at least one display object 223 disposed within symbol display 222. Display object 223 is preferably configured to communicate at least a portion of a game outcome. The number of display objects 223 as well as shapes, designs, and arrangements may vary. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11, display object 223 preferably comprises at least one three-dimensional symbol 224 rotatable on a rotational axis 230. In the preferred embodiment, three sets of display objects are provided 223 a, 223 b, and 223 c.

[0048] Referring now to FIG. 12, each display object 223 a, 223 b, and 223 c preferably has a plurality of three-dimensional symbols 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c. Each three-dimensional symbol 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c has height, width, and depth. Three-dimensional symbols 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c may be in many different shapes and sizes. For example, as shown in FIG. 12, three-dimensional symbol 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c may be in the form of three monkeys having different poses. Three-dimensional symbols 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c are preferably arranged around an axis 228 so that a rotational drive mechanism can drive the display object.

[0049] Three-dimensional symbols 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c preferably have a common theme recognizable by players. For example, one of the three-dimensional symbols 224 a has its hands covering both its ears to indicate the sign “hear no evil.” Another three-dimensional symbol 224 c has its hands covering both its eyes to indicate the sign “see no evil.” Another three-dimensional symbol 224 b has its hands covering its mouth (not shown) to indicate the sign “speak no evil.”

[0050] Of course, three-dimensional symbols 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c may be in various forms, such as a three-dimensional human model, animal model, or combinations of both. Themes may also vary. The number of three-dimensional symbols may further vary in numbers, preferably according to the adopted theme. For example, for three three-dimensional symbols, the “Three Musketeers” or the “Three Little Pigs” may be used as a common theme. For two three-dimensional symbols, “Batman and Robin” may be used as a common theme, and so on. Three-dimensional symbols 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c may be made of ceramic, porcelain, crystal, plastic, polymers, and the like.

[0051] Three-dimensional symbols 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c may be attached together and supported by single pole 17. As pole 17 rotates, the angular orientation of the plurality of three-dimensional symbols preferably changes between 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c as well as the outcome that will be communicated to the player. Poles 17 may have varying numbers, shapes, heights, or dimensions.

[0052] Platform 226 may further be provided, and platform 226 may include decorations preferably matching the common theme. As shown in FIG. 12, platform 226 serves as a stage for monkeys 224 a, 224 b, or 224 c, and platform 226 is decorated with artificial banana leaves and bananas to add more attraction to the display. Alternatively, three-dimensional symbols 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c may be separate from each other and supported by multiple poles (not shown). Pole 17 may be attached to a rotational mechanism (not shown) or a positioning device (not shown) or both, and pole 17 may rotate around rotational axis 228, which is preferably vertically positioned as shown. Rotational axis 228 may also be positioned horizontally or at an angle (not shown).

[0053] Referring now to FIG. 13, rotational mechanism 238 preferably includes a stepper motor 240 for rotating pole 17. Pole 17 is attached to stepper motor 240 through a coupler 244 and a shaft 242 connecting to stepper motor 240. A bearing 248 may be provided in between pole 17 and coupler 244 to support pole 17. A bushing 246 may further be provided to secure bearing 248 to pole 17. At least one of the plurality of three-dimensional symbols may be positioned on pole 17. In this way, pole 17 may rotate around rotational axis 228.

[0054] Rotational mechanism 238 further includes a positioning device 250 for placing a three-dimensional symbol (not shown) in its requisite angular orientation. Positioning device 250 has a wheel 252 attached in between shaft 242 and stepper motor 240. Positioning device 250 further has a sensor 256 for determining the angular orientation of the three-dimensional symbol (not shown). Periphery of wheel 252 has at least one notch 254 detectable by sensor 256 and used by the display device controller (not shown) to determine the angular orientation of the three-dimensional symbol. As wheel 252 and pole 17 are rotated together by stepper motor 240, sensor 256 obtains the angular orientation of the three-dimensional symbol by detecting the notch and transmitting a signal to the display device controller. Sensor 256 may be an infrared source and detector of a type that is well known in the art. In alternative embodiments, periphery of wheel 252 may comprise portions with different reflective characteristics, such as absorbent paint lines.

[0055] When bonus game controller detects a bonus-activating event, it may begin a bonus sequence by activating display device 220 (see FIG. 11). Display device 220 may comprise many different kinds of display devices, such as video screens, lights, light emitting diodes, speakers, etc. Display device 220 may have a controller that is adapted to generate a variety of displays.

[0056] Display device 220 may indicate that a player has qualified for a bonus round and prompt the player to perform an action. In the preferred embodiment, the player is prompted to activate the bonus sequence by pressing input device (not shown). Input device may be a simple button, a keyboard, or a touch screen display. In the embodiment in which the player must accumulate a number of bonus symbols to qualify for a bonus, display device 20 may indicate the number of symbols the player has received.

[0057] When the bonus game controller (not shown) detects the input device being activated, the controller would activate rotating mechanism 238. Rotating mechanism 238 rotates one selected display object 223 or a selected plurality of display objects 223 a, 223 b, or 223 c around their rotational axis 230, 232, and 234, respectively. Alternatively, rotating mechanism 238 may begin automatically and the input device may be used to initiate a display sequence. In another embodiment, the bonus game controller may wait a predetermined time period for the player to activate the input device. If the player does not activate the input device in that time period, the bonus game controller would automatically activate display device 220 and initiate the display sequence. In yet another embodiment, the display device controller automatically initiates the display sequence in a predetermined time period, independent from the input device, and the input device is only used to activate rotating mechanism 238. Of course, no input device may be used and the bonus game controller may automatically activate display device 220 and begin the display sequence.

[0058] In the preferred embodiment, however, angular orientation of three-dimensional symbols is randomly selected. Positioning device 250 determines and positions three-dimensional objects 224 a, 224 b, and 224 c to their appropriate angular orientation determined by a randomly determined outcome. A winning outcome may be defined as a particular combination of symbols. For example, a winning combination may be three of the same symbols (all three display objects display “see no evil”) or a winning combination may be three different symbols (the first display object displays “see no evil”, the second display object displays “here no evil,” and the third display object displays “speak no evil”). The winning outcome may have different number, arrangement, and combination of symbols and themes. Positioning device (not shown) causes display objects 223 a, 223 b, and 223 c to stop at their required angular orientation to display the randomly determined outcome.

[0059] Randomly determined outcome is obtained when bonus game controller generates a random number and then compares the random number to a pay table similar to that described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,874, issued to Adams. A simple pay table may appear as follows:

TABLE 1
Random Angular Amount
Number Orientation Paid
0.00 to 0.50 see no evil $1.00
0.51 to 0.75 hear no evil $5.00
0.76 to 0.95 see no evil, x 2
hear no evil
0.96 to 1.00 see no evil, $1,000.00
hear no evil,
speak no evil

[0060] For example, if the random number generator produced 0.65, “hear no evil” angular orientation would be displayed and $5.00 would be awarded to the player. If the random number generator produced 0.80, “see no evil” and “hear no evil” angular orientations would be displayed. Award from gaming apparatus 14 would be multiplied by two. For example, if gaming apparatus 14 awarded $20, the player would be awarded $40.

[0061] The present invention is not limited to the example pay table shown. A greater number three-dimensional symbols and combinations thereof may be used. Furthermore, different kinds of prizes, besides monetary prizes, may be awarded. For example, the prizes may be goods, services, or additional games. The goods and services may be awarded in the form of physical objects, tickets, vouchers, coupons, etc. Additional games may be presented in the form of tickets, such as scratch off lottery tickets. In the embodiments in which tickets, vouchers, and coupons are used, the objects are dispensed using an internally or externally mounted dispenser. Such dispensers are well known in the art.

[0062] Referring to FIG. 5, a schematic flow diagram 60 of the preferred gaming method of the present invention is shown. The method entails allowing a player to play a game on a primary gaming device at step 62. During the play of the game, a bonus-qualifying event may occur at step 64. A display device 12 is then activated in response to the bonus signal to generate and display at least one binary outcome at step 66. Display device 12 also selects a winning outcome. The player is then paid a predefined payout when the player wins depending upon the number of similar binary outcomes to the winning outcome displayed at step 68.

[0063] In an alternative embodiment (shown in FIG. 14), display device 12 is activated in response to the bonus signal to generate and display at least one ternary outcome at step 66. Display device 12 also selects a winning outcome. The player is then paid a predefined payout when the player wins depending upon the number of similar ternary outcomes to the winning outcome displayed at step 68.

[0064] Referring to FIG. 6, a detailed flowchart 70 of a bonus gaming method is shown. A game player initiates game play at step 72 by depositing coins or credits into primary game 14. The game player plays a game on the primary game at step 74. At decision step 76, the game checks to see if the bonus-qualifying event or signal has occurred. If the bonus-qualifying event has not occurred, the game loops back to step 72 to allow the player the opportunity to place another wager and play the primary game again. If the bonus-qualifying event has occurred at step 76, the game proceeds to step 80. At step 80, the player is queried to select one of the either/or binary outcomes such as heads or tails. Next, at step 82, display device 12 is then activated to generate to determine the outcome of the bonus game and display the three either/or binary heads or tails outcomes that correspond to the outcome of the game. Next, at step 84, the game player is paid a predefined payout depending upon the number of similar binary outcomes displayed to the selected binary outcome, which would be referenced in a payout table.

[0065] In an alternative embodiment, seen in FIG. 15, at step 80, the player is queried to select one of the either/or ternary outcomes. Next, at step 82, display device 12 is then activated to generate and display the three either/or ternary outcomes. Next, at step 84, the game player is paid a predefined payout depending upon the number of similar ternary outcomes displayed to the selected ternary outcome, which would be referenced in a payout table.

[0066] Referring to FIG. 7, a detailed flowchart 90 of another embodiment of the bonus gaming method is shown. A game player initiates game play at step 92 by depositing coins or credits into primary game 14. The game player plays a game on the primary game at step 94. At decision step 96, the game checks to Re if the bonus-qualifying event has occurred. If the bonus-qualifying event has not been generated, the game loops back to step 92 to allow the player the opportunity to place another wager and play the primary game again. If the bonus-qualifying event is generated at step 96, the game proceeds to step 100. At step 100, the player is queried to select one of the either/or binary outcomes. Next, at step 102, the bonus game generates and displays the three either/or binary heads or tails outcomes. Next, at step 104, the base bonus award is displayed. The game then proceeds to step 106 where a multiplier is generated. Next, at step 108, the base bonus is multiplied by the multiplier, displayed and paid. The base bonus depends upon the number of similar binary outcomes displayed, which would be referenced in a payout table.

[0067] In an alternative embodiment, shown in FIG. 16, at step 100, the player is queried to select one of the either/or ternary outcomes. Next, at step 102, the bonus game generates and displays the three either/or ternary outcomes. Next, at step 104, the base bonus award is displayed. The game then proceeds to step 106 where a multiplier is generated. Next, at step 108, the base bonus is multiplied by the multiplier, displayed and paid. The base bonus depends upon the number of similar ternary outcomes displayed, which would be referenced in a payout table. The term “ternary outcome” means having three possible outcomes.

[0068] Referring to FIG. 8, a detailed flowchart 120 of another embodiment of the bonus gaming method is shown. A game player initiates game play at step 122 by depositing coins or credits into primary game 14. The game player plays a game on the primary game at step 124. At decision step 126, the game checks to see if the bonus-qualifying event is generated. If the bonus-qualifying event is not generated, the game loops back to step 122 to allow the player the opportunity to place another wager and play the primary game again.

[0069] If the bonus-qualifying event is generated at step 126, the game proceeds to step 128 where a bonus award is selected. At step 130, the player decides whether to keep the bonus award or to play for a multiplier to be multiplied by the bonus award to provide another total prize. If the player decides to keep the bonus award, the game proceeds to step 140 where the bonus award is paid.

[0070] If the player decides to play for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 132 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or binary outcomes as a winning outcome. Next, at step 134, the bonus game generates and displays the either/or binary heads or tails outcomes. Preferably three coins are used, however, 1, 2 or more than 3 could be used. Next, at step 136, the multiplier is determined; the multiplier is proportional to the number of correct heads or tails that match the player's selection. For example, if the player selected heads and one coin 18 resulted in a head, the multiplier could be one. At step 142, the multiplier is compared to see if it is equal to zero. If the multiplier is equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 144 where a consolation prize is awarded to the game player. The game then returns to step 122 to allow the player to play the primary game again. If the multiplier is not equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 138. At step 138, the bonus award is multiplied by the multiplier to obtain a total prize and is displayed and paid. The game then returns to step 122 to place another wager.

[0071] In an alternative embodiment, shown in FIG. 17, after step 130, if the player decides to play for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 132 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or ternary outcomes as a winning outcome. Next, at step 134, the bonus game generates and displays the either/or ternary outcomes. Next, at step 136, the multiplier is determined; the multiplier is proportional to the number of correct angular orientation of three-dimensional symbols that match the player's selection. For example, if the player selected “see no evil” and one three-dimensional symbol resulted in a see no evil angular orientation, the multiplier could be one.

[0072] At step 142, the multiplier is compared to see if it is equal to zero. If the multiplier is equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 144 where a consolation prize is awarded to the game player. The game then returns to step 122 to allow the player to play the primary game again. If the multiplier is not equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 138. At step 138, the bonus award is multiplied by the multiplier to obtain a total prize and is displayed and paid. The game then returns to step 122 to place another wager. Referring to FIG. 9, a detailed flowchart 160 of another embodiment of the bonus gaming method is shown. A game player initiates game play at step 162 by depositing coins or credits into primary game 14. The game player plays a game on the primary game at step 164. At decision step 166, the present invention checks to see if the bonus-qualifying event is generated. If the bonus-qualifying event is not generated, the game loops back to step 162 to allow the player the opportunity to place another wager and play the primary game again. If the bonus-qualifying event is generated at step 166, the game proceeds to step 168 where a bonus award is selected. At step 170, the player decides whether to keep the bonus award or to play for a multiplier to be multiplied by the bonus award to provide another total prize.

[0073] If the player decides to keep the bonus award, the game proceeds to step 182 where the bonus award is paid. The game then returns to the place wager at step 162. If the player decides to play for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 172 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or binary outcomes as a winning outcome. Next, at step 174, the bonus game generates and displays the either/or binary heads or tails outcomes. Preferably three coins are used, however, 1, 2 or more than 3 could be used. Next, at step 176, the multiplier is determined; the multiplier is proportional to the number of correct heads or tails that match the player's selection. For example, if the player selected heads and one coin 18 resulted in a head, the multiplier could be one.

[0074] At step 184, the multiplier is compared to see if it is equal to zero. If the multiplier is equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 186 where a consolation prize is awarded to the game player. The game then returns to step 162 to allow the player to play the primary game again. If the multiplier is not equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 178.

[0075] Next, at step 178, the bonus award is multiplied by the multiplier to obtain a total prize and is displayed. The game then proceeds to decision step 180, where the game player is allowed to choose between playing for a multiplier again or to accept the total prize. If the player decides to keep the total prize, the game proceeds to step 182 where the total prize is paid. The game then returns to the place wager at step 162. If the player decides to play again for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 172 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or binary outcomes as a winning outcome and steps 174, 176, 178 and 180 are repeated.

[0076] In an alternative embodiment, seen shown in FIG. 18, after step 170, if the player decides to play for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 172 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or ternary outcomes as a winning outcome. Next, at step 174, the bonus game generates and displays the either/or ternary outcomes. Next, at step 176, the multiplier is determined; the multiplier is proportional to the number of correct angular orientation of three-dimensional symbols that match the player's selection. For example, if the player selected “see no evil” and one three-dimensional symbol resulted in a see no evil angular orientation, the multiplier could be one.

[0077] At step 184, the multiplier is compared to see if it is equal to zero. If the multiplier is equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 186 where a consolation prize is awarded to the game player. The game then returns to step 162 to allow the player to play the primary game again. If the multiplier is not equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 178.

[0078] Next, at step 178, the bonus award is multiplied by the multiplier to obtain a total prize and is displayed. The game then proceeds to decision step 180, where the game player is allowed to choose between playing for a multiplier again or to accept the total prize. If the player decides to keep the total prize, the game proceeds to step 182 where the total prize is paid. The game then returns to the place wager at step 162. If the player decides to play again for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 172 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or ternary outcomes as a winning outcome and steps 174, 176, 178 and 180 are repeated.

[0079] Referring to FIG. 10, a detailed flowchart 200 of another embodiment of the bonus gaming method is shown. Flowchart 200 allows a game player to replay for the multiplier. If the player correctly repeats playing for a multiplier a predetermined number of times, the player is awarded a progressive jackpot. A game player initiates game play at step 162 by depositing coins or tokens into primary game 14. The game player plays a game on the primary game at step 164. The primary game 14 generates a bonus-qualifying event 16. At decision step 166, the game checks to see if the bonus-qualifying event is generated.

[0080] If the bonus-qualifying event is not generated, the game loops back to step 162 to allow the player the opportunity to place another wager and play the primary game again. If the bonus-qualifying event is generated at step 166, the game proceeds to step 168 where a bonus award is selected. At step 170, the player decides whether to keep the bonus award or to play for a multiplier to be multiplied by the bonus award to provide another total prize. If the player decides to keep the bonus award, the game proceeds to step 182 where the bonus award is paid. The game then returns to the place wager at step 162.

[0081] If the player decides to play for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 172 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or binary outcomes as a winning outcome. Next, at step 174, the bonus game generates and displays the either/or binary heads or tails outcomes. Preferably three coins are used, however, 1, 2 or more than 3 could be used. Next, at step 176, the multiplier is determined. Themultiplier is proportional to the number of correct heads or tails that match the player's selection. For example, if the player selected heads and one coin 18 resulted in a head, the multiplier could be one. At step 184, the multiplier is compared to se if it is equal to zero. If the multiplier is equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 186 where a consolation prize is awarded to the game player. The game then returns to step 162 to allow the player to play the primary game again. If the multiplier is not equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 178.

[0082] Next, at step 178, the bonus award is multiplied by the multiplier to obtain a total prize and is displayed. The game then proceeds to decision step 202. At decision step 202 the number of times that the multiplier has been played for is compared to a predetermined number. If the number of times that the multiplier has been played is equal to the predetermined number, the game proceeds to step 204 where a progressive jackpot is awarded. The jackpot won is shown on total prize meter 54.

[0083] The game then returns to step 162. If the number of times that the multiplier has been played is not equal to the predetermined number, the game proceeds to step 180. At decision step 180, the game player is allowed to choose between playing for the multiplier again or to accept the total prize. If the player decides to keep the total prize, the game proceeds to step 182 where the total prize is paid. The game then returns to the place wager at step 162. If the player decides to play again for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 172 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or binary outcomes as a winning outcome and steps 174, 176, 178, 180 and 202 are repeated. The progressive jackpot can be linked to the correct number of binary outcomes selected by the player during the multiplier bonus rounds.

[0084] In an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 19, after step 170, if the player decides to play for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 172 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or ternary outcomes as a winning outcome. Next, at step 174, the bonus game generates and displays the either/or ternary outcomes. Next, at step 176, the multiplier is determined. The multiplier is proportional to the number of correct angular orientation of three-dimensional symbols that match the player's selection. For example, if the player selected heads and one coin 18 resulted in a head, the multiplier could be one. At step 184, the multiplier is compared to see if it is equal to zero. If the multiplier is equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 186 where a consolation prize is awarded to the game player. The game then returns to step 162 to allow the player to play the primary game again. If #he multiplier is not equal to zero, the game proceeds to step 178.

[0085] Next, at step 178, the bonus award is multiplied by the multiplier to obtain a total prize and is displayed. The game then proceeds to decision step 202. At decision step 202 the number of times that the multiplier has been played for is compared to a predetermined number. If the number of times that the multiplier has been played is equal to the predetermined number, the game proceeds to step 204 where a progressive jackpot is awarded. The jackpot won is shown on total prize meter 54. The game then returns to step 162. If the number of times that the multiplier has been played is not equal to the predetermined number, the game proceeds to step 180. At decision step 180, the game player is allowed to choose between playing for the multiplier again or to accept the total prize. If the player decides to keep the total prize, the game proceeds to step 182 where the total prize is paid. The game then returns to the place wager at step 162. If the player decides to play again for a multiplier, the game proceeds to step 172 where the player is queried to select one of the either/or ternary outcomes as a winning outcome and steps 174, 176, 178, 180 and 202 are repeated. The progressive jackpot can be linked to the correct number of ternary outcomes selected by the player during the multiplier bonus rounds.

CONCLUSION

[0086] The present invention solves many of the problems associated with the prior art. Certain embodiments of the present invention provide devices that allow players to play interesting and exciting games. Devices may be filled with highly attractive visual displays that may hold the attention of players and the public. Thus, the devices may invite more players to play and may encourage players to play longer. Certain embodiments of the present invention may further provide display devices that allow players to play games that can easily be understood. The games may further allow players to obtain a multiplier that would increase a prize amount. The display devices may also be easily added to a primary game. Although the description above contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the issued claims and their legal equivalents rather than by the examples given.

Referenced by
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US7331858Sep 11, 2003Feb 19, 2008Wms Gaming Inc.Gaming machine with polyhedral reels
US7476151Jul 2, 2003Jan 13, 2009Wms Gaming Inc.Award display for gaming machine having extendable and retractable elements
US7566269 *Sep 29, 2004Jul 28, 2009IgtGaming device having selectable awards on a moving mechanical display
US8187092Jun 13, 2007May 29, 2012Dixon Donald FWagering game with multiple viewpoint display feature
US8248462Apr 16, 2007Aug 21, 2012The Board Of Trustees Of The University Of IllinoisDynamic parallax barrier autosteroscopic display system and method
US8262458Nov 13, 2008Sep 11, 2012IgtGaming system, gaming device and gaming method providing additional award opportunities for an activation of a symbol generator based on an occurrence of a triggering event
US8353762Sep 29, 2009Jan 15, 2013IgtGaming system, gaming device and gaming method providing additional award opportunities for an activation of a symbol generator based on an occurrence of a triggering event
US8454428Sep 8, 2003Jun 4, 2013Wms Gaming Inc.Gaming machine performing real-time 3D rendering of gaming events
US8574054Sep 22, 2011Nov 5, 2013Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited3D reels
US8715055Apr 27, 2012May 6, 2014Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game with multiple viewpoint display feature
US8715076Apr 27, 2012May 6, 2014Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game with multiple viewpoint display feature
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/20
International ClassificationG07F17/34, G07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3267, G07F17/32, G07F17/34, G07F17/3244, G07F17/3262, G07F17/3211
European ClassificationG07F17/32M2, G07F17/32K, G07F17/32M4, G07F17/34, G07F17/32C2F, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 28, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK F/K/A FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK, NEW
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017537/0671
Effective date: 20060322
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:17537/671
Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK F/K/A FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK,NEW
Mar 19, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC., N
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SEELIG, JERALD C.;HENSHAW, LAWRENCE M.;REEL/FRAME:013861/0997
Effective date: 20020912